Amazon Invests $1 Billion in Warehouse RoboticsAmazon Invests $1 Billion in Warehouse Robotics
The first round of financing will go toward wearable tech with a focus on workplace safety
April 26, 2022
Amazon has set up a venture investment program worth $1 billion, dubbed the Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund (AIIF), which will be used to “spur supply chain, fulfillment and logistics innovation,” with a particular focus on automation and workplace robotics.
The initiative is responding to a shifting market landscape where customers are increasingly shopping online, with expectations around delivery times and online experiences driving satisfaction. Amazon’s new fund looks to develop solutions that either improve these aspects, or the experience of employees working in warehousing and logistics.
“We see an opportunity to look beyond our own experience and empower companies that are developing emerging technologies in customer fulfillment operations, logistics, and the supply chain,” said Alex Ceballos Encarnacion, Amazon’s vice president of worldwide corporate development. “We’re excited to help advance these technologies as online shopping becomes even more important to people who are looking for more convenience and time savings.
“With our scale, Amazon is committed to investing in companies that will ignite innovation in emerging technologies that can help improve employee experiences and safety while seamlessly coexisting with workforces across the supply chain, logistics, and other industries,” he added.
The fund’s first round of investments has a particular focus on wearable safety tech, with companies including computer vision firm Vimaan, autonomous robotic company BionicHIVE, and Mantis Robotics, a San Francisco-based group developing a robotic arm that harnesses sensor technology.
“Investing in companies that are driving the next generation of industrial innovation can have impact across communities — globally, regionally and locally,” said Bob O’Donnell, founder and chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research. “It’s great to see Amazon make these investments in companies in the U.S. and around the world, as historically, ongoing investment in innovation has shown to have a positive economic impact.”
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